The ever-slipping Gran Turismo 5 release date has been pushed back again.

Gran Turismo 5 - Sony's flagship driving simulator game that has been available on every generation of the company's PlayStation console - was due to be released on November 4.

But Sony Computer Entertainment released a statement overnight saying that the long, long-awaited game would be further delayed.

"We are sorry to say that Gran Turismo 5 will not be available on the previously announced release date of November 4th, but the game will be released before Christmas," read the statement.

"We sincerely apologise to GT fans for the delay, however creator Kazunori Yamauchi and the team at Polyphony Digital want to make certain they are creating a racing experience of the highest quality.

"We are confident that this ambitious game will exceed expectations when it launches later this year. We'll have more information for you in the near future."

Fans have been waiting for the game since the 2008 release of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue - criticised by some as simply an expensive demo - provided the first taste of the acclaimed simulator on Sony's high-def PlayStation 3 console.

A playable demo of previously unseen Gran Turismo 5 tracks and cars at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles in June showed some excellent advances in the game, including tracking of players' heads by the Eye camera to provide a far more 'in-car' experience.